Have been wanting to write about personal safety for awhile now, especially since many of us are out at night. And when you’re high, you’re extremely open as your situational awareness is close to zero.
Anyway, an incident involving a friend’s girl prompted me to do this.
I have written about it on my FB page as a note, but will reproduce it here:
Staying safe is up to you – Situational Awareness
Incidences of crime happen everywhere, at anytime. Unfortunately, women are more vulnerable.
Instead of relying on security guards, cops, or others, and crap like CCTV (which doesn’t usually help till after), the best bet is to rely on you.
I’m surprised that many women would voluntarily step out of the vehicle when they’re in accident. It’s best to stay in, especially if it’s not a busy area, or after dark. All you need to do is wind down your window enough to communicate, and arrange to meet at a police station or a friend’s place or sumtin.
Take down each other’s license plate numbers or take a picture/video, and move on. If you’re suspicious / nervous, then dont exchange your driver’s license details, coz your home address is on it.
When i was a writer with The Star, we had a weekly column called Survival Smarts, which i usually wrote, until i quit. It covered various things – escaping a fire, first aid, getting out of a jungle / self-rescue, personal safety, etc.
With personal safety, I met an expert many years ago, Julian Lim. He da man. We devised a series of articles on safety, specifically women’s personal safety. They’re good stuff.
I realize most people don’t have Situational Awareness, or know what it means. It’s basically knowing what’s goin on around u, and was originally an Air Force term. It involves gathering information (visual, etc), analyzing it, and making projections (reacting, etc) based on that analysis.
An example would be knowing if you, or your vehicle, are being followed, knowing exactly where your car is parked and the possible threats there, ensuring there is no one in your garage before you exit the vehicle, etc.
Would u know where’s the nearest Police station in these areas? – D’sara Heights, Kiara, Bangsar, Puchong, SS2, Ampang, etc? Do you care? In times of emergency, would you be able to instinctively get there fast? Or do u have to turn on your GPS first?
There’s an app called My Distress, specifically for emergencies in Selangor, as it’s by the state police. Get it –
From what i understand, this is for smartphones, and for the app to inform the cops of your exact location, your GPS needs to be on. So instead of trying to turn it on in emergency (that wd be quite silly), it’s best to turn on your GPS and put your app on-screen, on standby, when you’re driving alone at night or something.
When shit happens, u can immediately hit d panic button. Hide d device somewhere on your body in case you’re taken. Cops are usually on you in minutes.
Most girls don’t even have pepper spray! U shd keep one in your car (within quick reach with your seatbelt on) and one in your handbag side pocket. (U shd also keep one in your room, but dats home safety, which is another story.) When ur walking alone, eg in a carpark, one hand should hold the keys ready, and the other should hold the spray. It’s not like a big stick or anything; not like everyone will stare if you’re carrying that little kicka in your palm.
A pump into a threatening guy’s face will fuck him up, real good. (Once fired, get away quick.) The most effective short to medium-range weapon around.
Anyway you can read the stuff we (mainly Julian) worked on.
Start with Part 1, linked here, which i feel is the most important one – Surveillance and Evasion.
The best advise from all this is – when you’re unsure, just fucking run. It’s ok to look uncool. The perpetrator wouldn’t expect you to run. He would expect you to wonder what is it that he wants, etc. That’s how the operate – on your uncertainty, your ‘trust’, and your lack of time to react.
Just run fast in the other direction. Forget about your fancy handbag, or that your damn car door is still open, or your shopping is on the floor. Screw dat shit. Your life’s infinitely more valuable that dat.
So remember this three-letter word when you’re nervous or your instincts are unsure. R-U-N. It’s simple but effective.
If really nothing’s goin on, u can just cooly walk back right? Sall good.
“Obviously, if we miss spotting the danger until it confronts us, we have lost the main tool to avoid it.” – Julian.
Anyway, when you’re done reading Part 1, Part 2 is regarding getting away – Reaction & Escape.
Simple thing like throwing your handbag or keys into the person’s face before scooting off can work. A split second of distraction would enable you to kick your heels off and run.
Fighting back is a last resort. But if you do, you could poke the guy’s eyes. Have no mercy. Other vulnerable points – throat, nose and balls (the best).
Part 3 is on fighting back – Self-Protection.
and here; http://thestar.com.my/fightcrime/resources/story.asp?file=/2006/3/11/resources/13815293&sec=resources
We shot evasion/defence videos too, but the links seem down. Will check with my ex-editor and update here.
Anyway, I think Part 1 & 2 are the most handy.
If u wanna know how to escape a fire (could be useful), it’s here.
There’s a series of crime safety articles by The Star on this page, including on theft and robbery. Check it out.
That’s it for now. Share this info your friends pls, especially girls.
Remember that awareness and avoidance is still the best way. As we learnt in the Eagle Scouts, something i apply till today, our simple motto goes a long way – ‘BE PREPARED’